There is more than just one type of pollution that can be bad for you. Air pollution can have a devastating effect on our health, and although you may not realize it, noise pollution can too.
Noise pollution can come from a variety of sources, but three of the most damaging sources come from:
- Industrial Machinery
- Commercial Construction Projects
Those living in the city are at more risk than people who live in a rural community due to the amount of commercial projects that are happening throughout the city.
Noise pollution has been found to have adverse effects that range from general hearing decline to severe psychological reactions.
Reducing sound through the use of sound barrier walls is one way to minimize the effect of loud sounds on the human body.
Using commercial soundproofing materials can help protect those who are exposed to loud noise on a regular basis such as children, the elderly and commercial workers.
Noise pollution is defined as “the environmental disturbance caused by noise, or noise resulting in feeling unrested for living in the vicinity.”
You may not have given much thought to how side conversations affect productivity, or how the busy roadway next to your office affects your employees work, but noise pollution can be a significant problem in the workplace.
We discuss further noise pollution and how it can negatively affect your personal health and your work environment.
How Noise Pollution Effects Human Health
Noise pollution can do more than reduce hearing capacity; it can also create psychological trauma that leads to:
- Nervous Disorders
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Thickening of The Blood
- Neurological Problems
- Leads to hypertension and other cardiovascular problems
Loud and unwanted noises trigger a stress response in our bodies, which causes a surge of adrenaline and a rise in blood pressure.
Several studies conducted in the United States have found that working in a high-pressure environment coupled with exposure to noise pollution causes significant stress.
Annoyances and distractions while at work or on the road can be just as damaging as noise disruptions to sleep.
You may not realize it, but constant jarring noises can cause stress. These facts are found in a study performed by The World Health Organization.
The study also states that overall, At least one million healthy life years are lost every year from traffic-related noise in the western part of Europe.
As you might have suspected, consistent noise pollution negatively affects your sleep. Research reveals that even a thrumming hum is harmful to the quality of your sleep.
Even if you don’t wake up completely from the sounds, your body still responds to negative stimuli. If you’ve ever lived near a construction site, you know that loud noises can keep you up all night.
Even just driving past them on the road causes enough of an annoyance, can you imagine living near one? You can find yourself tossing and turning, and you may even grow so restless that you’re no longer technically asleep.
That lack of sleep is extremely unhealthy. Interestingly, the noise in your home is more likely to cause these issues than outside sources.
Productivity is greatly affected by noise pollution, and it doesn’t take much. Just the sound of someone talking nearby as you work can diminish productivity by up to 66%.
A study conducted by Sound Agency found that when an office implemented sound-masking technology2, there was a 46% improvement in its workers concentration.
Subconscious Glandular Response
Your body constantly secretes hormones in order to stimulate the requisite organ functions that keep you healthy and happy. Unfortunately, research indicates that noise pollution triggers interfere with this process.
Think about how you behave when you hear a car crash or a siren; there’s not only an emotional response, but also a physical one. The latter is beyond your control.
Once your body recognizes aggressive sounds, it signals the release of noradrenaline and adrenaline, which is why your body feels so out-of-control at these times.
Your body triggers its fight-or-flight function, and you lose control of your senses for a brief period. Even when noise pollution is subtle, these effects occur on a small-scale.
What Are The Causes of Noise Pollution?
You may think hearing loss is just a part of aging, but that’s not the case. The leading cause of hearing loss is noise.
The NIDCD explains that this happens because loud or fast sounds damage the hair cells in our ears that serve to relay sounds to our brain for interpretation. When the cochlear hair cells in your ear swell, the sensory receptors in your ear malfunction.
Corticosteroids can reduce these hair bundles, which negates most of the damage of the harsh sounds. These hair cells cannot be replaced or repaired once they are damaged.
Economic Impact of Noise Pollution
What price is that? $30.8 billion a year, in fact.
The World Health Organization in Europe created a 2011 report, Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise. They looked at the effect of environmental noise on health including the “cost of lost work days, healthcare treatment, impaired learning and decreased productivity” due to noise.
This report focuses on the cost it has all over Europe. If your home or place of employment is near a highly congested traffic area, you’ve probably idly considered whether all the chaotic sounds are distracting you from quality work; the answer is YES!
Researchers indicate that traffic sounds are “probably the most rigorous and pervasive type of noise pollution.” It’s an unfortunate side effect of urban living that outside traffic noises build up like a dull roar in your ears.
Living with such a situation can cause not only throbbing headaches, but also nausea, anxiety, and mood swings. We talk about how it affects your personal health when it comes to noise pollution. Now we will discuss the industries that cause a higher level of noise for workers in the commercial sector.
Industrial and Manufacturing Noise
Factories that use heavy machinery emit large amounts of sound that are damaging to the people that work for the company and those living in nearby residential neighborhoods.
The Centers for Disease Control say that regular exposure to 85 decibels results in hearing loss over time.
They also say that people can permanently lose some of their hearing when noise levels reach more than 120 decibels in one occurrence.
People who work with saws, mills, lathes, drill presses, punch presses, and progressive dies are at risk for hearing loss if they do not wear protective ear equipment.
Having industrial noise control in place can help reduce the amount of noise decibels any worker is going to be enduring.
Having multi-sided sound enclosures panels around pumps and treatment equipment can reduce the noise levels around the commercial site.
Roads and Highway Noise Pollution
Vehicle-related sounds are a common cause of noise pollution, especially in bustling metropolises. Honking horns and loud exhausts attribute to mental distress that could lead to road rage, headaches, and physical discomfort.
With more and more drivers hitting the road each year it is important to understand the impact that it has on communities.
As you drive through a major highway you will find yourself driving past residential homes and apartments that are located near major cities.
Public transportation drivers and people that use buses, subways, and trains to commute to work are all exposed to high levels of noise pollution.
Some cities have added highway sound barriers between residential neighborhoods and busy freeways. This addition has been proven to reduce the stress on the residents’ ears and their general health.
Implementing an effective and durable noise reducing sound wall that coincides with residential neighborhoods can provide the solution any transportation department needs.
Commercial Construction Noise
Cities are prone to commercial soundproofing issues for large construction projects like those marked by miles of orange barriers on the Interstate. Growing towns and urban areas often upgrade central thoroughfares on a regular basis.
Even remodeling buildings can cause hearing loss when performed in enclosed spaces. The sound of jackhammers chipping away at concrete is enough to upset nearby workers and residents.
Construction noise barriers can help developers and retailers who are located in neighborhoods to better understand and reduce noise. Dealing with residential noise complaints are a hassle no business wants to deal with.
You will find that some of the following commercial retailers and developers benefit from noise reduction:
- Shopping Centers
- Delivery Trucks
- Commercial Development
- Loading Docks
Are there solutions to noise pollution? Why should you care between absorptive vs reflective barriers? The answer is YES to both.
How to Reduce Noise Pollution in Construction
When it comes to addressing noise pollution you want to get in contact with a company like Sound Fighter® Systems. When it comes to commercial projects you want to contact an acoustic consultant who can discuss your noise concerns.
A company like ours can provide communities and commercial businesses with effective ways to reduce the sound of myriad noise sources.
Engineered absorptive sound walls provide a variety of benefits and solutions for those looking to reduce their noise footprint.
One of the best features of acoustic wall panels is the elimination of noise rather than reflecting it in a different direction.
Using a reflective concrete noise barrier does not provide a long term solution, if anything it causes more issues than before.
Getting Help from Sound Fighter® Systems
Sound Fighter’s absorptive noise barrier systems and mobile noise barriers are ideal for reducing construction noise.
Our noise barriers are built to help reduce noise levels that can not only help commercial businesses but residents alike.
Why Choose Sound Fighter®?
Sound Fighter® Systems is a fully licensed and American based company located in Shreveport, LA. We are the commercial leader in noise absorbing technology since 1973.
Our renowned sound absorbing panels are 100% recyclable.
We have earned the title of Business of the Year by the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and have been a member since 2002.
The City of Shreveport has used our noise absorbing material for years because they are extremely easy to install, versatile and durable.